In addition, more than six hundred members of the Fresno City Employees Association accepted a three percent cut. Union Representative Dee Barnes says more than half of the workers approved the deal, but she says it wasn't easy. "It was a tough decision with many of our members especially with now taking a financial hit with all the extra costs going on with costs of food health care, gas and food and everything else."
The combined sacrifice will save the city about one million dollars in the coming year. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says another two million is needed. "The reality is we will have to make cuts and we will make cuts if we don't obtain concessions from our remaining bargaining groups."
Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd says the city is still negotiating with half a dozen other bargaining units, including the biggest, the Fresno Police Officers Association. They weren't available for comment but Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd says everybody is talking. "All of them are coming to the table, all of them are trying to reach an agreement."
The city administration needs to have the budget wrapped up within the next few weeks. If they can't win another two million dollars in concessions, in addition to layoffs the Mayor is threatening is to cut programs for senior citizens and children.